Licensing criteria for hospital-based ECE services

Section 10 of the Education and Training Act 2020(external link) defines hospital-based education and care service as the provision of education or care to 3 or more children under the age of 6 who are receiving hospital care.

ECE services operating from hospital premises that provide education and care to siblings of patients or children of hospital staff or patients are centre-based ECE services, not hospital-based ECE services.

Hospital-based services are licensed in accordance with the Education and Training Act 2020 under the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008(external link), which prescribe minimum standards that each licensed service must meet. Licensing criteria are used to assess how the services meet the minimum standards required by the regulations.

For each criterion there is guidance to help services meet the required standards.

The publication of the criteria on its own can be downloaded as a PDF [PDF, 1.2 MB] and printed.

The licensing criteria were last updated in September 2022.

HS7 Travel by motor vehicle

  • Criteria
    • Criteria

      Health and safety practices criterion 7

      If children travel in a motor vehicle while in the care of the service:

      • each child is restrained as required by the Land Transport legislation;
      • required adult:child ratios are maintained; and
      • the written permission of a parent of the child is obtained before the travel begins (when children are not travelling with their parent).

      Documentation required:

      Evidence of parental permission for any travel by motor vehicle as part of the ECE programme.


      The criterion aims to uphold the safety of children while travelling in motor vehicles. Linking the restraint of children to licensing requirements allows Ministry of Education to put a regulatory intervention in place for non-compliance, as opposed to fines given by Police.

  • Guidance
    • Guidance

      Any examples in the guidance are provided as a starting point to show how services can meet (or exceed) the requirement. Services may choose to use other approaches better suited to their needs as long as they comply with the criteria.

      If there are not sufficient child restraints or cars/vans available for any excursion, then other transport options need to be considered.

      Ensuring children are properly restrained according to traffic law while travelling in a car is a bare minimum requirement.

      Taxis and shuttles have different legislated requirements for child restraints. Children travelling in taxis should be restrained as if they were in a private car or van.

  • Things to consider
    • Things to consider

      Other things to consider when arranging travel in motor vehicles include:

      • vehicles having current registration and warrants of fitness
      • all drivers having a current full driver’s licence
      • all private vehicles must have the appropriate safety restraints for adults and children in accordance with the NZ Transport Agency regulations. See this child restraints fact sheet for more details(external link)
      • managing any supervision issues, is an extra adult in the car a good idea, so the driver can concentrate on driving, and children can make the most of the experience?